Organic Monadology in Maupertuis


The present paper aims to define the seminal parts in the generation theory in Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis’s System of nature as Leibnizian physical monads of a special type, organic monads, whose main characteristics are: 1) uniting, within the same explanatory system, epigenesis and preformation, following from an interpretation where initial conditions for epigenesis are a homogenous, non-organic seminal matter; 2) having psychic properties which give them a preformational character, allowing seminal parts to display a combination of material and representational morphologies, elaborated from a distinction between the substantial and relational character of chemical affinities proposed by François-Geoffroy; 3) bringing, through the previous two characteristics, the System of nature to intelligibly express preexistence, a concept present in Maupertuis’ conjectures on the origins of the first organisms, where to a strongly naturalistic scenario, a supernatural cause is added—one consistent, within limits, with the natural indestructibility of the physical monad within a panspermic reading of the original Leibnizian monadology. Together, these characteristics allow us to define Maupertuis’s generation theory as an organic monadology, capable of expressing itself in other components of the modern sciences of life and the organic, revealing a historical continuity for the heuristics of Leibniz’s natural philosophy.

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Ramos, M. (2015) Organic Monadology in Maupertuis. Advances in Historical Studies, 4, 17-28. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2015.41003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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